BY: ERIC ZDANCEWICZ
If you’ve ever walked alone and stoned through the city streets you know how unnerving the experience can be. Cameras hover outside of every store and peak around every corner. Your phone, your credit card, and anything that connects to a network can be used to get information about you. It feels like someone is watching. Did one too many puffs of that joint make you paranoid? Or maybe you read enough pages of Edward Snowden’s 2013 global surveillance disclosure to feel that your privacy is not synonymous with the 21st century.
These days there are too many ways your information can be collected, and for most of your day you probably aren’t even thinking of it. This is where Jakub Geltner’s practice finds its form. The Prague-based artist created a series called Nests, a four year long project which emphasizes the infection of surveillance in everyday life. Geltner mounts satellites and cameras liberally to areas that don’t require constant surveillance like oceanside rocks, by a riverside walkway and on the side of a school and church. The swarms of cameras in unexpected locations raise questions about the necessity of surveillance equipment in our society. Are they here to serve or spy?